In Memoriam

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David L. Johnson AMP ’44

January 19, 2014, in Seattle, Washington.

David was born in Moscow, Idaho, and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was in the army premeteorology program at Reed and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and a PhD in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He joined the faculty of the department of electrical engineering at the University of Washington as an associate professor in 1955. During his academic career, he was a pioneer in artificial intelligence and computer engineering and brought the new fields of digital computing and computer science to UW. As a Fulbright Scholar, he conducted seminal research into dolphin learning. David also worked with Jim Howe, a leading AI researcher at the University of Edinburgh, and helped to develop the graduate program in engineering at the university.

After retiring, he traveled extensively with his wife, Corinne; loved reciting the works of A.A. Milne and Lewis Carroll to children and adults; and cherished the outdoors. Spending summers at Priest Lake and Eliza Island, he believed wholeheartedly that “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Corinne survives him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2017

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